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Doing everything right?
Feb 13, 2011

Hey there,

Just a general question. Now I know its different for everyone, and this question may have been asked 1000 times, and "no one can predict how long they will live", but....

Speaking for myself: I work full time mon-fri (office environment, stress free work), I exercise about 3-4 times a week, I generally eat well/healthy, I don't smoke at all (never did). I used to have asthma as a kid but its probably gone now (haven had any signs of it since the mid 1990's), I drink once every 3 months or so and when I do I don't over-drink. I'm in my early 20's, weigh about 160 lbs, stand 5'11, and african american. I have a decent job with insurance (in case I have to go on meds) as well.

How likely am I to continue to live a normal and long life based on my current habits and lifestyle? I'm not taking any medication yet, but when I have to and I'm adhering to it well, follow up with the doc frequently... etc. basically if I'm doing everything right, do you see a good chance of me living long and not dying of hiv? And will it be a better chance of living a normal life, or "near" normal life?

And what are the chances of someone doing everything right and NOT surviving, if they are NOT resistant to their meds, consistently have good blood work results, etc.?

Response from Dr. Young

Hi and thanks for your post.

I'm afraid that I won't be able to answer your question any more specifically than the one's that you've likely already read; but here goes.

While predicting the future is always a bit speculative and there is much that all of us keep our eye out for (like the increased risk of heart, kidney, bone disease or cancers), if you are "doing everything right", you do have a very good chance of living a good quality and quantity of life. Certainly, as people living with HIV are at much lower risk of AIDS-related complications (because of HIV medications), we focus much of our medical attention on many preventive medicine strategies such as avoidance of tobacco and substance use, heart and cancer disease prevention and others. Indeed, the real challenge for the HIV medical community and people living with the virus is to shift attention to the issues of access to care and medications and these long-term health promotion strategies.

Be well, BY



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